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New Board for hotel sale announced

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By Andrew Coakley

Bahamas Information Services

 

#TheBahamas, January 7, 2022 – The process of finding a new buyer for the Grand Lucayan resort, began with the introduction of the new Board on Thursday, January 6, 2022, which has the responsibility to attract new investors, assist with negotiations and close the deal for the final sale of the property.

The new Board was introduced to the public on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper, during a press conference at the Grand Lucayan.

“I am very proud of the members of this Board,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “We have a very distinguished board with members who have deep experience in tourism, in law, in accounting and in the Grand Bahama Business community. This is a Board of professionals from a broad cross-section of our country.

“I’m excited to have these people on the Board and I’m excited to have their advice and council in this matter. We have a deep board of experience and we will be drawing on them to cause this development to happen in the shortest time frame.”

The new Chairman of the Board is Julian Russell, a Chartered Accountant, who also once served as a former Senator for the Progressive Liberal Party. Other members include Cassietta McIntosh-Pelecanos, attorney and Deputy Chair of the Board; Stewart Bowe, a former senior executive at Atlantis; Ernie Cambridge, an icon in the tourism industry in Grand Bahama; Merrit Storr, an attorney; Edward Rahming, a member of the former Board and a Chartered Accountant; and Carla Claire, an attorney.

The Tourism Minister, along with the Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey, took the new members of the Board on a tour of the resort, which was followed by a meeting.

Minister Cooper said the meeting with the Board and the introduction of the Board to the members of the public was an important transitional step.

“Over the past several weeks, we have been working diligently to negotiate out of the deal that existed before; and we have terminated that deal by mutual agreement. Now, we are moving forward to find a new partner and a new investor for this property.

“This is a fantastic asset on the waterfront here and this is an opportunity to strengthen the tourism product here in Grand Bahama: the goal of this board is to ensure that it comes into fruition in the shortest time frame possible. So, today in our board meeting, we will be discussing the way forward.”

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that there are at least six investors who have expressed serious interest in the purchase of the Grand Lucayan, adding that the list of possible investors is expanding every day. He said this is because there are a lot of people out there who understand the value [of] the Grand Lucayan and the other opportunities that exist on the island of Grand Bahama.

Minister Cooper pointed out that the tourism product of Grand Bahama centers around not just the Lucayan Resort, but also around the East and West End communities, where interest in building resorts in those areas has been expressed.

The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated that the ideal investor for the Grand Lucayan resort is not just someone or a group of people with deep pockets and significant resources, although he added that such a position is very important. But he said the ideal investor is one with a vision for the property and a shared vision for the development of tourism and the island of Grand Bahama.

“That’s what we are seeking and I know that some of the potential investors fit that bill and we’re very excited about that.”

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester I. Cooper (right), and Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey (left), along with newly appointed members of the Grand Lucayan Board check out the view from the waterfront side of the Grand Lucayan during a tour of the facility on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

1st insert:  Official board meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester I. Cooper (left, center) and newly appointed members of the Board for the sale of the Grand Lucayan took place on Thursday, January 6, 2022, following a press conference to officially introduce board members.

2nd insert: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Hon. Chester Cooper (left), along with Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey (center) and newly appointed Chairman of the Board for the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort, Mr. Jullian Russell (left) check out one of the rooms in Lighthouse Point, during a tour of the Grand Lucayan Resort on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

BIS Photos/Andrew Miller

 

 

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Bahamas News

WHO says COVID deaths THREE TIMES higher

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

May 14, 2022 – Weeks ago the world marked an awful milestone 6 million COVID-19 deaths now the WHO says the real number may be almost three times higher.

In a recent press release the organization said new estimates from its data show that the full death toll or excess mortality associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million but might be as high as 16.6 million.

The organization explained that,  “Excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from earlier years.”

Basically the excess mortality rate tells us how many people will be alive were it not for COVID. It is important to know what that figures including spikes associated with omicron are not included in this data set so the number could very well be higher.

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the organization.

South-east Asia and the Americas were the worst hit by the pandemic in terms of death toll.

WHO data shows 20 countries, containing approximately 50% of the global population, account for over 80% of the estimated global excess mortality for the January 2020 to December 2021 period.

These countries are: Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States of America (USA).

 

WHO COVID DEATHS Photo caption:  File photo in Jakarta;  at a time when there were fears about running out of space to bury its dead.

(Supplied: Arbain Rambey)

 

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Two Babies die from toxic Similac, TCI Ministry of Health asks stores to pull bad batches off Shelves

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 14, 2022 – Two infants have died as a result of bad baby food, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health renewed calls to stay away from Similac and several other baby formulas.

The warning for parents over fears of contaminated baby food came in a press release on Monday and advised all local suppliers, healthcare facilities and parents to read the labels and check for a list of brands and batches.

“Discontinue the sale and/or use of certain batches of powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott, namely: Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.”

The products were recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration after consumers complained of illness in infants from Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

The TCI Health Ministry advises that the bacteria can cause rare bloodstream and central nervous system infections and has been associated with severe intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.

In the worse cases, two babies in the US have died.

The ministry statement said: “Consumers are advised not to use the recalled products if the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2 and has an expiration date of April 2022 or later.”

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Pineapple Fest Makes Return this June         

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#TheBahamas, May 13, 2022 –  The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) is excited to announce  the return of the  Annual Pineapple Festival following a twoyear hiatus due to Covid-19.  Deemed by organisers as the “sweetest” festival in The Bahamas, the 33rd Pineapple Festival will take place 3 – 4 June  in charming Gregory Town, Eleuthera.

The annual Pineapple Festival, created in 1987 to honour pineapple farmers of Gregory Town and their contribution to the farming industry, would have marked 35 years if not for the pandemic. Agriculture heritage, in the settlement often referred to as “Pineapple City”, is the focal point of the weekend festival where locals invite visitors to indulge with them in  the naturally sweet like sugar, tropical taste of pineapples.

Festivalgoers will experience lots of food, lots of fun,  interactive games and musical entertainment  for people of all ages to enjoy. For the kids, there will be “Kids World” filled with fun games and sports to enjoy all day long.  Fierce culinary competitions, pineapple eating contest, plaiting of the pineapple pole are just a few of the activities persons can take part in at at this sweet island festival.

The two-day concert segment of the festival begins on Friday, 3 June,  and will be headlined by

Eleuthera’s very own in-house band, Team Blue Waters, with exciting performances by Ebony, Puzzle, Stileet and many more popular local performing artists. On Saturday, 4 June, the final day of the concert, musical entertainment will continue with a second performance by Team Blue Waters,  and new performances by Sweet Emily, Funky D and Cupid.

This years 33rd Pineapple Festival is sponsored by Disney Cruise Line, Aliv, Team Bluewaters,

Daddy Joe’s, The Cove Eleuthera, Kalik and The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

For more information, contact the Eleuthera Tourism Office at 242-332-2142 or visit

tourismtoday.com or bahamas.com

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